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If you haven’t been paying attention, Rick Santorum and his sweater vest have been surging in the Republican campaign for the presidential nomination. Despite the fact that he’s being out-spent by Mitt Romney everywhere he goes, Santorum is ┬ábecoming (rightly or wrongly) identified as the conservative alternative to the more moderate Romney.

Well, the next primary on the calendar is in Michigan. And while Mitt Romney has roots in Michigan (his dad was governor), he’s trailing in all the most recent polls. Indeed, there have been 4 polls in Michigan since February 10 and Santorum is leading in all 4. Nate Silver, the talented sabermetrics geek who has turned his analytical skills to politics, has a proprietary model that predicts every major election. Given the most recent polls and Santorum’s momentum, Silver gives Santorum a 77% chance of winning the Michigan primary.

At 5Dimes, you can bet on the Michigan primary. And right now, you can get Rick Santorum (plus everyone else except Mitt Romney) to win at (-140)*.

At (-140), 5 Dimes odds implies that Romney has 58% chance to win the primary. But Nate Silver’s model – the best political model out there – pegs Santorum’s chances at 77%. That’s a sizable delta and it means there is real value in betting on Santorum to win the Michigan primary.

So if you’re a believer in Nate Silver and his model – or just a lover of sweater vests – you may want to consider putting some money on Rick Santorum.

* We’d like to note that when we started to write this post, Santorum was at (-115) at 5Dimes but by the time we grabbed the screen shot and published the post (about 30 minutes had elapsed), the line had moved to (-140). So someone else noticed what we did and hit that line and moved it up 25 cents.

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